CCA lodges in Botswana

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Apr 1st, 2004, 02:02 AM
  #1
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CCA lodges in Botswana

I am going to cancel my booking with Classic Africa. They initially booked me to WS camps before the rate increase, and if I repeat the same itinerary, the cost should have been higher (which likely exceed my budget).

While there are lots of discussion on WS camps here, just wonder if any one has stayed at the CCA lodges in Botswana (Sandibe and Nxabega) and comments are welcome. Thanks
llee_2003 is offline  
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Apr 1st, 2004, 03:41 AM
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Ilee
I hope you won't lose out (deposit etc) but am delighted to see that you won't be giving them your business.
How many nights do you have and what is your approx budget (excluding airfare).
That should help folks input lots of ideas.
See you all soon, I'm just online to check a few details before I go and even now I can't avoid this site!
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Apr 1st, 2004, 06:00 AM
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Hi llee,
sorry to hear about that price increase. I know both Sandibe and Nxabega.
Both lovely, what details would you like to know?

Karin
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Apr 2nd, 2004, 12:47 AM
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Hi Karin,
I have no doubt to the services provided by CCA but just wonder if the game at their lodges are as good as WS camps (well, I am not comparing with Mombo but such as Chitabe, which is not far from Sandibe). Thanks
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Apr 2nd, 2004, 08:42 AM
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I spent a lot of time at Nxabega when it was built. Game was excellent back then - to be honest I haven't been back there since.
There was an old old giraffe walking around on the camp grounds. One day I almost bumped into him when I walked to the main bulding.

Sandibe - I drove there once from Maun and we saw a lot of game on the way including lions just before we turned into the lodge road. That was pretty close to the first buildings on the lodge grounds.
Also Elephants came very close to the buildings when I stayed there.
Never went on actual game drives at these camps.
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Apr 2nd, 2004, 04:35 PM
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llee,

I am happy to hear about your decision to cancel with Classic Africa. That really is great news and you are doing the right thing.

Regarding your choice in lodges, you should also strongly consider Kwando.

www.kwando.com

I have read glowing reviews about Kwando Kwara and Kwando Lagoon, and their prices are very reasonable, probably on par with CCA and definitely significantly lower than Wilderness Safaris.

For your review, I am posting a quotation that I just received for my hopeful stay at Kwando and Savuti next year:

1) Your advised itinerary was (2005):

June xx - Durban
June xx - Durban
June xx - Durban
June xx - Johannesburg
June xx - Johannesburg to Maun. 3 nights - Lagoon
June xx - Lagoon.
June xx - Lagoon.
June xx - Transfer to Kwara for 3 nights.
June xx - Kwara.
June xx - Kwara.
June xx - Transfer to Savuti for 3 nights.
June xx - Savuti Camp.
June xx - Savuti Camp.
June xx - Depart Savuti to Maun: Maun to Johannesburg.


2) RATES/COSTS

a) The 2005 rates for our Kwando camps will not be finalised until next month. However, we can do the following. Assume a 10% increase on 2004 rates. If it is ultimately less than this we will pass the saving on by reducing your final payment. If it is more we promise to freeze at our quoted rate (thus you pay no more on this basis).
b) We can quote you a transfer inclusive rate (as per above). This includes all transfer flights (including to Savuti) except the extra flight from Savuti back to Maun which we will include as an extra component.
c) Savuti Camp will not published their rates and will delay as long as possible. However, we have a special one-off rate from them - but we must confirm as soon as possible.
d) International Flights Jo'burg-Maun-Jo'burg. We can get these at ~$50 less than the APEX rate but the costs will not be loaded into the system until 9 months before the date. We can request these in advance but the rates will not be confirmed until just before Christmas at the earliest.

We can refine the costs once we have the basic plan agreed. Below are estimates based on the above.

a) Kwando 6 night; fully inclusive - inc. air transfers. Maun - Kwara - Lagoon - Savuti
$455 US per person per night (we can offer up to 12.5% discount if you book the entire itinerary through us). Thus: $2730 per person for 6 nights (commercial rate) - as low as $2390 (depending on exchange rates and total package)
b) Extra flight Savuti - Maun
$182 (estimate) per person.
c) Savuti Camp (special offer for your booking only) $435 per person per night Thus: $1311 per person for 3 nights.
If you look at: http://planner.botswanasafari.info/a...s.asp?accId=16 you will see this is less than their discount rate (+ 10% for 2005).
d) Jo'burg-Maun-Jo'burg - currently we can get these for approximately $340 thus with 10% these would be about $375 per person.

These rates are either industry rates to us or at least 5% below normal rates.

Currently we can get you B&B at the Holiday Inn Garden Court Hotel near Jo'burg Airport for about $145 US (for two people). There will doubtless be an increase by June 2005.

Please advise on the above points if we are to proceed.

best regards

Steve
NATURAL EVENTS

---------------------------------------
llee 2003,

Natural Events is the sole tour operator listed on Kwando's website, so I do think that they may offer the best pricing, and their pricing on Savuti looks pretty good as well.

Personally, I cannot wait until I book my 2005 Botswana safari, but first I will go to Zambia and see how I feel when I get back. However, knowing that the clock is ticking on the Africa we know and love, I don't think there is a year to waste without visiting Africa, as it may not be long before it is forever changed due to hunting and poaching. Hopefully what Classic Africa said about Mozambique holds true and it will eventually become a top notch safari destination, much as Zambia is slowly becoming.

Good luck on your safari and I cannot thank you enough for your decision, especially in light of the fact that it may have cost you locked in pricing at Wilderness Safaris.
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Apr 10th, 2004, 05:11 PM
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We are just back from Botswana last week. CCA handled our trip and we thought they did great. I haven't exactly been following the CCA thing and don't know if there are problems with them. We surely had none.
Everything was excellent. We spent two nights at Nxabega and really enjoyed it. The accomodations were fine and the food was the best we had at any camp. While we were there we saw elephants, giraffes, zebras etc. There were two prides of lions in the area. We arrived just after the one pride had killed a Zebra. The others had a young cub with them. I guess there were two but no-one knows what happened to the other.
Another group that was at the lodge at the same time was moving on to Sandibe and I heard that they ended up seeing a leopard that apparently killed a baboon and also a pack of wild dogs. Seems that the game viewing was pretty good at both places.
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Apr 10th, 2004, 08:04 PM
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We will be at Nxabega and Sandibe and Savute in May -- this is really exciting to hear about!
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Apr 10th, 2004, 08:58 PM
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Just to clarify...the problem was with Classic Africa, a tour operator owned by Pierre Faber and Margaret Faber, that secretly ran Classic Hunting Safaris, as well. The problem is not with CCAfrica, or any of its properties. I am intentionally putting their names so that I maximize the chance that when somebody does a search on the internet for a safari or even on the two of them that this information will also be known to such potential customers.

Classic Africa has since taken down the website for CHS and has tried to erase all record of its existence, but it is cached on the internet:

http://216.239.39.104/search?q=cache...hl=en&ie=UTF-8

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Apr 11th, 2004, 06:02 AM
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Hi Uhoh_busted. Where are you staying at Savute? We were at Savute Elephant camp and had a great time. I wrote a little about it in the "Just Back from Botswana" thread. I am not an Africa expert like a lot of people on this site. This was our first trip and we really had a wonderful time.
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Apr 11th, 2004, 07:49 AM
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We're staying at Savute Safari Camp...I think...it is a WS camp instead of a CCA camp, so it may change by the time we get there. All arrangements were made through ccafrica, who were great to deal with. I've read your other thread with great interest. We're so excited about this trip!
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Apr 11th, 2004, 08:01 AM
  #12
 
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Savute Safari Camp was right next to Savute Elephant Camp so the game should be just as good. I don't think its tents but that probably is OK too. It was pretty spooky in the tents at Savute the last night we were there. The lions were really close. Right outside the camp and they roared loudly. We followed the tracks the next day and saw the two big males. I know you will have a good time.
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Apr 11th, 2004, 05:32 PM
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Uhoh_busted
Savute Safari Lodge is owned by Desert and Delta Safaris (an operator who also owned Camp Moremi and Camp Okavango), it is right next to Savute Elephant Camp.

Savuti Camp owned by WS is somewhere nearer to Linyanti.

I will also be staying at Savute Safari Lodge in May and am very excited.

Sprig, thanks for your trip report (it is alreay a), I read them with great interest, please keep posting.

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